'If you can’t go around it, over it, or through it, you had better negotiate with it' - Ashleigh Brilliant
Successful sales work usually ends with negotiations regarding details, conditions, and – sometimes – price. Below, I’ve provided you with some solid suggestions as to how you can negotiate the best deal, even if the customer is inviting you to trench warfare…
1. Recognise that it might be uncomfortable
You’re not the only one who sometimes finds negotiations uncomfortable or cause for nervousness. If you don’t feel comfortable, the other relevant party probably feels the exact same way. By being open about it, you can usually succeed in creating a more constructive atmosphere for the negotiations, which will end up greatly benefiting all involved parties.
2. Be honest
If the other party is as professional and experienced as yourself, s/he will most likely sense it if you’re making things up, exaggerating, or just plain lying. It doesn’t get you anywhere and doesn’t belong in a negotiation. Decide, from the beginning, to be completely honest; “We must come up with a reasonable compromise and this is my situation.”
As a seller, you’ll most likely be a strong intermediary. But negotiations go smoother and will often achieve better results if you put effort into listening to and understanding what the other party is trying to achieve. What’s the goal? What’s the problem? Why is it a problem? A lot of sellers take it upon themselves to guess and jump to conclusions. In this way, they lose out on opportunities that open up in negotiations and risk ending up with a result that is less beneficial to one, or both, of the involved parties than the goals and problems would otherwise have permitted.
4. Be prepared
Ensure that you’re completely caught up with previous correspondence, attachments, facts, data, and documentation. Show the other party that you have relevant materials ready, should they become necessary. This makes you seem like a strong and serious candidate. At the same time, it ensures that the negotiations aren’t postponed because you have research to do to prepare for a second meeting.
5. Leave the table
If the negotiations haven’t led anywhere and you can sense that they won’t, you should acknowledge the situation sooner rather than later. If you can feel that the negotiation won’t be successful, close your folder, smile, discontinue the negotiations, and leave the table. This isn’t done to pressurise the other party; it’s done because you don’t see a way of making ends meets. To revive the negotiations, the other party must be required to change his/her premises, otherwise it’s a waste of your time.
Secure the best deal.